Distinguishing Pods From The Herd of Coffee Single-Servings

Coffee pods are starkly different from other coffee single-serve formats on the US market. But their fine distinction is blurred by the popularity of the pod-want-to-be, including plastic capsules that fall short of pod characterization. It is the hope of this article to restore the true image of the pod format against the backdrop of presumptuous versions.

The pod technology originated in Italy where automated machines were built for the purpose of producing a 7 gram, or 0.25 ounce, of coffee wrapped in filter paper and shaped in the form of a disk packed into an opaque envelope. Italian ingenuity added a necessary component in the production process to maintain extended freshness in each coffee packet. This process is called nitrogen displacement designed to force out oxygen and moisture, the two enemies of fresh roasted coffee. Both aroma and taste is protected for over a year with nitrogen blanketing. Otherwise, coffee can turn rancid a month after it is roasted if unprotected by inert gas like nitrogen before it reaches the buyer.

Many coffee manufactures adopted the pod form as a better way to deliver freshness-maintained coffee and an easier way to brew one serving without a fuss. A standard called ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) was developed so that espresso machines and pod designs would match with each other. This open system has allowed the pod design to spread throughout Europe and to a certain extent in the US. Today, on the American market, 55% of single cup drinkers prefer the pod over the capsule because of the greater variety available them.

However, with the emergence of the plastic K-cups, a proprietary form for the Keurig single-cup brewing system, these capsules are being marketed as “pods.” So are the latest Keurig Vue cups. There is no resemblance in form and function between a pod and capsule, except that they are both measurements for one cup of coffee.

The following points are a guide to help differentiate benefits of one format versus another. First, an ESE pod is an open system allowing for vast selections of coffee types and pod machines. A capsule is proprietary system with limited choices. Second, Pods are nitrogen displaced to preserve freshness. Capsules are not blanketed with inert gas. Next, Pods have a paper filter that removes cafestol, an LDL cholesterol inducing chemical in coffee. Capsules are not know to have this protection.

What has been unclear in the past is that pods can be brewed with high pressure pump system. Under greater force of water, it is possible to extract more of the good coffee oils. K-cups are brewed under low pressure, thus can leave significant coffee nectar behind.

Another consideration of pods versus capsules is that they do not emit plastic taste. Inherent plastic make up of capsules can release an off taste into beverage.

When it comes to the environment, pods are eco-friendly. Plastic material of capsules does not biodegrade as easily as paper filter. Finally, pod prices can be 25% lower than the new Keurig Vue cups.

It is no surprise that marketers of K-cups, Vue cups and other proprietary capsules would want to classify these unrelated single doses of coffee as pods. They count on consumers not having any discretion in choosing the real thing from the impostor.

Baby Poop: What New Parents Need To Know

Newborn babies don’t do much. They cry and sleep. They gaze around some. They eat and spit-up. They pee and poop. Really, that’s about it. So it’s easy to see why new parents focus on their infant’s bowel habits. Of course, relatives are also responsible. Everyone has an Aunt Betty (or maybe it’s your Mother-in-law) whose goal in life it is to voice concern about everything. “He poops too much. She doesn’t go enough. It’s too hard. It’s too soft. Why’s he always grunting like that?” Often new parents aren’t concerned until someone convinces them of a so-called problem.

The trouble with baby poop is the wide-degree of variation. Some infants stool shortly after every feeding, while others go once a week. There’s also a wide-range of thickness–from thin liquid to clay patties. And then there’s color: yellows, greens, browns, reds, and blacks. Let’s take a quick look at each of these factors and discuss what’s normal and what’s not.

Stool frequency depends on how much stool your baby makes and how quickly the intestine moves it down the pike. The amount of stool is dependent upon two variables–how well your baby’s intestine absorbs food and how many bacteria live in the gut. Since a baby’s ability to absorb food changes over time, the amount of residue left over also changes. Typically there is more residue to stool out in the first few weeks of life. Then, as your baby’s intestine matures, absorption improves and the amount of residue decreases. Thus, babies who used to poop several times a day may slow production down to once every couple days.

On the other hand, bacteria may have the opposite result. As a baby matures, more and more bacteria populate the gut. They are important to the digestion process and are one of the reason baby stool changes in character over the first few months of life. But as their numbers increase, the body eliminates more and more of them in the stool. Stool bulk increases as the number of bacteria increases, and increased stool bulk leads to more frequent bowel movements.

Another factor affecting stool frequency is transit time. Some guts work faster than others. So what’s normal? Well, some newborns will have a stool every time they eat, while others will go every few days. If your infant’s stools are more than three or four days apart, it may still be alright, but you should give your child’s doctor a call and let him know.

Stool consistency is another important consideration. If your baby’s stools are always slimy like mucus or thin like water or thick like clay, talk to your doctor. The ideal consistency of newborn stool is like mustard, but some variation on this may be okay.

Also pay attention to color. Bright red usually means blood. Bring this to your doctor’s attention right away. Possible causes include milk allergy, a crack in the skin around the anus, or (rarely) a more serious internal problem of the intestinal tract. Black tar-like stool is normal during the first few days of life. But if it remains this way long or becomes this way again, talk to your doctor. It could be a sign of bleeding in the gut.

Other colors depend on diet and the make-up of intestinal bacteria. Normal colors can range from pale yellow to dark green and light tan to dark brown.

Putting this all together, normal baby poop should be the consistency of mustard. It may be yellow, green, tan, or brown and it may come several times a day or once every several days. Reasons to call your doctor include black tar-like stool, presence of blood, watery diarrhea, constant mucus, and thick or formed stool. Also let your doctor know if your baby routinely goes several days without passing stool.

A word about fussiness is in order. Many parents assume a fussy baby who has a bowel movement every few days is constipated. This may not be the case. Keep in mind that upset babies, whether they are upset from hunger or the pain of an ear infection or heart burn, will stiffen their bellies, draw up their legs, and pass gas as they bear down. You should not assume this behavior is from constipation, even if their bowels move irregularly. Instead, make an appointment with your child’s doctor for a thorough examination.

Okay, let’s say your infant is constipated. She has thick formed stool that is difficult to pass and she goes infrequently. Your doctor agrees your infant is constipated. What will he have you do? Here are some options:

RECTAL STIMULATION: Put a glob of lubricant on a rectal thermometer or Q-Tip. Insert the tip a quarter to half inch into the rectum, give a little twist, and pull back out. Often, this will stimulate a bowel movement within a minute or two.

GLYCERIN SUPPOSITORIES: These are available at most pharmacies. Use half a suppository to start, inserting it into the rectum. This works by increasing the water content in the stool through a process known as osmosis (think back to high school science class).

JUICE: Processed apple or prune juice from a grocery store (not fresh from a fruit stand) will also increase the water content of stool through osmosis. This works because undigested sugars make it all the way down to the large intestine and draw water into the bowel. Baby juice probably won’t work because it’s so dilute. Start with an ounce or two of full-strength processed juice. If it works, you may need to continue giving an ounce or two of juice once or twice a day to keep your baby regular.

ORAL MEDICATION: There are several of oral medications that work the same way as juice. Milk of Magnesia is available over the counter, while Lactulose and Miralax require a prescription. Oral medications are rarely necessary for young infants.

It’s important to consult your doctor before trying any of these methods. There are diseases, some of them serious, that mimic constipation–so don’t treat it without your doctor’s help.

Finally, a word is in order concerning some things you shouldn’t use to treat constipation. Kayro syrup and honey have the remote possibility of transmitting botulism to infants, so don’t use these products in children less than a year old. Likewise, unprocessed juice may contain harmful bacteria, such as E. Coli. Also, enemas are not recommended for infants–save those for the older kids and use them only under the guidance of your child’s doctor.

Baby poop is funny because it can be so different from one child to the next. And for some crazy reason, well-meaning relatives always seem to gravitate toward a newborn’s bowel habits. But don’t let Aunt Betty (or your Mother-in-law) get to you. Armed with the knowledge of what’s normal and what’s not, if she keeps pushing, feel free to teach her a thing or two.

Copyright 2006 Mike Patrick Jr, MD

3 Irresistible Dark Chocolate Recipes That Will Make Your Mouth Water

Most of the commercial chocolate bars we buy and eat are full of unhealthy sugar. But eating dark chocolate, made from cocoa seed, actually has plenty of health benefits. Said to be one of the best sources of antioxidant, a 100 gram bar of the dark variety contains a good amount of fiber, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and many other nutrients. It is also said to help improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure. But like any other sweet treat, remember to consume it in moderation!

Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Granola

What you need:

  • 2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sliced ​​almonds
  • 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter-flavored spread
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Non-stick cooking spray

In a saucepan over low heat, mix together brown sugar, honey, peanut butter, spread and vanilla extract. Stir until ingredients are mixed well. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine oats, cinnamon and salt then pour peanut butter mixture into the bowl. Add dark chocolate, almonds and cranberries. Spoon mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cook in a pre-heated oven (175 degrees Celsius) for 15 to 18 minutes, or until browned.

Quick Choco-Mint Fudge

What you need:

  • 3 cups semi-sweet dark chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure mint extract
  • 1 pinch salt

In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together dark chocolate, condensed milk, butter, mint extract and salt. Stir until ingredients are well-combined. Melt in the microwave over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until chips are melted. Remove from heat and mix in peppermint candies. Pour mixture in an 8×8 silicone baking dish, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

Easy Dark Chocolate Mousse

What you need:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 tiny pinch salt

In a small heat-proof bowl, mix together dark chocolate, 2 tablespoons water, butter, chipotle pepper and salt. Fill a saucepan with water and simmer over low heat. Set bowl over pan of simmering water until butter melts, stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool. In a separate heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 2 tablespoons water and sugar. Set over the pan of simmering water and stir until mixture is hot, about 3 minutes. Pour egg mixture into the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature. Gently fold in whipping cream into the mixture. Divide mixture into ramekins. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Try these drool-worthy dark chocolate recipes and you'll love sweet treats even more!

Learning Something New: For Life and For Health

You often hear how laughter is the best medicine, and for some people chocolate or multivitamins fit the bill instead. Each person is unique and so is his or her preferred form of medicine. What about learning something new as a form of medicine?

Often there are parts of personality, talents, and health that haven’t been expressed, at least in a while, and are just waiting to be let out. Everyone has different talents, so the key to unlocking these hidden treasures is unique to you. It could be that drawing or painting offers a form of expression that you enjoy. Writing stories, or a blog. Dancing or singing. Someone who is good at cooking dinner might try out desserts or baking instead. How about learning piano or guitar? A new sport?

Learning something new helps us feel adventure in life, which is very much a part of feeling healthy and active. When daily work and chores build up, trying something new shakes things up and encourages us to be in better tune with ourselves in many different ways–including our health. It could be that you have a talent you have exercised before, and maybe it’d be fun to take it to a new level in some way.

The adventure of learning something new can be frustrating at first, and even this feeling can contribute to your health. People can find that the frustration they experience in a new activity is one they’re dealing with on a larger level too in other parts of life. Tackling the challenge through the new learning experience can jump start changes in other areas of life too. Once you take the first step, you never know where it will lead you.

Just as life is a journey, so is health. These two experiences are woven together so that whatever you do to improve one area often improves the other one as well. Learning something new sparks both your body and your mind in new ways, impacting both your health and your life.

So, what have you been wanting to learn or try out lately that you haven’t had a chance to express yet? Maybe you’ve thought about it and it’s felt a little scary to go for it. As the season shifts slowly from winter toward spring, jump into this challenge anyway and see what happens. Enjoy the new adventure, expressing your talents, and the changes it brings to your life and your health!

Understanding The Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease

When it comes to cardiovascular disease or CVD, there are two types of risk factors – those you can control and those you cannot. Knowing the different risk factors, both controllable and uncontrollable can help you take proper steps to stay healthy and keep problems at bay.

Factors You Can Control


Hypertension or high blood pressure is the leading cause of premature death due to cardiovascular disease. The high pressure overworks and weakens the heart muscles, resulting in cardiovascular problems. Those who have hypertension are also more likely to develop other complications.


Diabetes or high blood sugar increases the risk of cardiovascular problems about 2 to 3 times. The higher the sugar levels, the higher the risk. Unfortunately, diabetes is often diagnosed too late, resulting in serious complications such as strokes, blindness, amputations and CVD.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Leading a sedentary lifestyle is the 4th leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Insufficient physical activity can put you at higher risk for hypertension, diabetes and obesity, all of which are precursors for CVD. Engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 3-4 times a week can lower your risk significantly.


People who are overweight usually also have high blood sugar, high blood pressure and glucose intolerance. All of these conditions put considerable pressure on the arteries and heart muscles, resulting in cardiovascular disease.

High Cholesterol

Statistics indicate that high cholesterol is responsible for about 1/3rd ischaemic heart disease globally. When your cholesterol level is high, fatty deposits form within the blood vessels. These fatty deposits narrow the diameter of the blood vessels, obstructing the free flow of blood to the heart. This insufficient blood flow weakens and damages the cardiovascular muscles increasing the risk of stroke.

Using Tobacco

Smoking or ingesting tobacco hardens the arteries and obstructs blood flow to the heart. As much as 10 % of all related problems are related to tobacco use, especially smoking. Some studies have shown that the risk reduces significantly within 2 years of abstaining from tobacco use.

Unhealthy Diet

What you eat plays a huge role in leading to cardiovascular disease or protecting you from it. Consuming too much salt, processed foods or saturated fats and not enough vegetables, fruit and fish are detrimental to the health of your heart. A healthy diet consisting mainly of vegetables, fruit and fish reduces the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, which in turn reduces the risk of related disease.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors

Age, gender and family history are the three uncontrollable risk factors for CVD. While the factors themselves cannot be controlled, going for regular checkups is necessary so that proper precautionary measures can be put in place.

What You Need To Know About Fish Oil

Fish oil is a type of fatty acid that is derived from the tissues of oily fish. It contains omega-3 fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). If you can’t access the fish oil, there are plenty of supplements in the market that you can take.

Benefits of fish oil

There are plenty of advantages that come with taking the oil. Some of these advantages include:

Cholesterol control: Cholesterol levels in your body are not only essential for the health of your heart, but they are also important to your entire body. Experts show that taking 3-6 grams of fish oil every day aids in promoting a healthy balance of high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins. The oil has also been found to promote healthy levels of triacylglycerol concentrations in the body.

To support healthy cholesterol levels, you should support the intake of the oil by taking diets rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Bone support: Bone support is important to women, especially those entering the menopausal years. As you get older as a woman, there aren’t the standard progesterone and estrogen hormone levels, and this provokes the bones to begin thinning. Studies show that oil from fish promotes bone health thus you don’t lose as much calcium as you should.

To get the most from taking fish oil, you should maintain a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Remember that taking more too much or too little of each would put your bones at even more risk.

Mood support: Do you struggle with anxiety and depression? Consumption of this oil has been attributed with increased mood and positivity in life. According to scientists, when you consume fish oil you increase serotonin levels in the body. As you know, serotonin is a “feel-good” hormone thus you feel good about yourself. To get the most from this hormone, you should take oil of fish after eating a carbohydrate-heavy meal.

Tips to consider when using fish oil

While many companies are selling the supplements both online and offline, not all are reputable. To be confident that you are buying a genuine product, buy the oil from a renowned company. In addition to buying from a reputable company, you should also ensure that you take the oil correctly.

The AHA recommends that you take up to 3 grams of fish oil every day. Taking high doses is often accompanied by side effects that include: fishy breath, fishy taste in the mouth, loose stools, nausea, and stomach upset. You also have increased the risk of bleeding.

If you want to take high doses of the supplement, you should talk to your doctor first who will come up with a plan on how you can safely take the supplements without developing the side effects. Some people have high triglyceride levels, if you are one of the people, you should speak to your doctor before you start taking the supplements.


This is what you need to know about this oil. To get the most from the supplements, buy them from a reputable company. You also should take them correctly.

Risk Management (ISO 14971)

Risk Management

Almost no business, whether it is a local grocer selling to a handful of customers or a multinational spread across the globe, is exempt from risk management. This should be one of the most used and most important terms in a business. There is every reason to believe that risk is as inherent to business as perhaps carbon dioxide is to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide may not be required for us humans, but is an unavoidable byproduct of our bodies, just as risk may not be desirable, but is unavoidable. In simple terms, one could say that in a business, a risk is a necessary and inescapable offshoot.

Risk can be mitigated, not done away with

We have seen that risk is simply inseparable from a business. This means that risk is so closely related to business that the two can probably not exist in isolation of each other. Since it conceded that risk can only be controlled or managed and not eliminated; a business has to devise ways by which it can do this. This is what risk management essentially is about. The success of a business depends in large part on the way it carries out risk management.

Risk management and the medical devices industry

Any manufacturing process carries with a certain risk. It terms of gravity, this can vary in proportion to the task, but to reiterate what has been said till now; risk is inevitable. How does risk impact the medical devices industry, and what does risk management in the medical devices industry entail?

Any medical device is subject to a high degree of scientific processes and supervisions. They carry with them both uses and risks. When a medical device’s risk exceeds its intended benefits; it can mean great danger for the patient. Keeping in view the extreme importance of risk management in medical devices; the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has enacteda number of regulations that are aimed at reducing risks and increasing the effectiveness of medical devices. These are spelt out in ISO 14971:2007, which is specifically about dealing with risk management in medical devices. This standard underwent a revision in 2009.

ISO 14971

The ISO 14971 is considered the benchmark for risk in the medical devices industry. It deals extensively with risk management. The most striking feature of this regulation is that it makes risk management obligatory and to be present and demonstrated right from the device manufacturing process and lasting the entire product lifecycle. The evaluation of risk of a medical device is mandatory for the manufacturer.

This standard also requires him to specify the risk in the medical device both in relation to the impact it makes on the patient and in its interaction with other medical devices. Concomitant to the second of these requirements; ISO 14971 requires the manufacturer to share the process of manufacturing with other healthcare providers whose products the patient may be using. If for instance, the patient is using a defibrillator, the manufacturer of this device has to allow the manufacturer of other devices the patient may be using, such as human tissue for example, to share the same information about its processes, and obtain certification of the same. This makes risk management very robust and comprehensive.

Role of top management

Another of the important highlights of ISO 14971 is that it requires top management of medical device manufacturing firms to demonstrate their commitment to risk management through the following ways; a)establish the process, b) set up the policy for acceptable risk, and c) review of the effectiveness of the process/processes at preset intervals. 

Society Finches – Why You Should Have Them

It’s Hard Not to Want a Whole Community of Society Finches

Whether you are a new bird enthusiast or have appreciated your feathered friends for many years, Society Finches are sure to keep you entertained.  As their name suggests, they are extremely social little creatures so it is recommended to always have at least two so they can keep each other company.  Society Finches are friendly and energetic but may be a little nosy and disruptive for other species that are more private in nature.   Therefore, their fun-loving personalities should be taken into consideration when housing with or around other species.

Description of Society Finches

Interestingly, Society Finches are actually a hybrid species that were thoughtfully created and bred by Japanese and Chinese breeders in Asia more than 300 years ago.  Although their definite ancestry is not confirmed, it is suggested that they are derived from the White-rumped Munia and the Striated Finch.  Society Finches mature at a length between four and almost five inches are are available in a few soft color variations being pure white, fawn and white and also chocolate and white.  What makes Society Finches so special is that you will never find two exactly alike, there are even solid varieties as well as tri-colored and crested birds that were developed back in the 1930s.

General Care

Society Finches are considered the perfect birds for novice collectors because they are hardy, inexpensive, easy to care for and have outstanding temperaments.  It is crucial that the birds are provided with fresh water and food everyday.  In addition to this, Society Finches need a constant supply of grit with charcoal.  These essential minerals and trace elements will aid with digestion so it is easiest to keep some in a small cup so they have access to it whenever they eat.

  • Diet – Finch seed mix will act as a solid staple for the diet of these energetic birds.  You can find this relatively cheap at any pet store.  In addition to this mix, Society Finches should be offered greens on a regular basis such as spinach and chickweed.  As a daily treat, your bird will enjoy apples, pears, cooked eggs, seeds with honey and other fruits and vegetables.
  • Cuttlebone – Society Finches should always have access to a cuttlebone in their housing.  These provides the calcium that they need for strong beaks and eggshells when breeding.  Calcium also helps to prevent females from experiencing egg binding and the lime they contain assists with digestion as well.
  • Housing – While these birds are very easy to care for, they do require a clean environment. Most illnesses are always associated with a poor diet and unsanitary surroundings so if you cannot commit to cleaning their cage, you will compromise their health and happiness.  When choosing a location for their cage, it should be away from any drafts and never left in a window with direct sunlight if they have no place to escape the heat.
  • Bathing – Your Society Finches will appreciate being able to bathe themselves in clean water. Make sure the dish is not more than one inch deep and they only need about a half inch of water.  Birds can drown in too much water because it is hard for them to fly with wet wings.
  • Nails – A nail trim will be needed from time to time but you must be careful to not clip into the vein, this could be fatal due to blood.  You will find nail trimmers designed for birds at your local pet store and it is a good idea to pick up some styptic powder which can quickly stop bleeding in case of emergency.

Society Finches are charming birds that are the perfect addition to anyone’s home.  They have great personalities and when care for properly, make happy and fun companions.

Spiritual Tug of War – God and Us Versus the Devil

Rod loved the smell of the pine forest mingling with the smoke from campfires as he and his dad sat in the outdoor amphitheatre at the national park campground. They were listening to the park ranger talk about wolves. Near the end of his talk, the ranger said, “I’m going to close with a legend that has been passed down for hundreds of years.”

The ranger began, “Many, many years ago, a native American grandfather was talking to his grandson. ‘Inside of me are two wolves’ said the grandfather, ‘and they are having a terrible fight. One wolf is evil-full of hate, lies, anger, greed and jealousy. The other wolf is good-full of peace, love, truth, sharing, kindness, friendship and generosity.’ The grandson nodded, wondering who would win the fight. ‘That same fight,’ the grandfather continued, ‘is going on inside of you.'”

“The grandson looked concerned. ‘But which wolf will win?’ he asked.”

“The wise grandfather replied, ‘The one you feed!'”

How many of you have ever played a game of tug-of-war? If you have, you might be able to understand the conflict Paul is talking about in Romans 7:15-25, because we as Christians are in a spiritual tug-of-war. Our old, sinful nature is not removed when we accept Christ as our Saviour. That old-sinful nature fights against our Christ-filled nature. One part of our nature supports the Old Testament law, but another part rebels against it. One part of us will want to do good deeds, but another part will hinder us from doing good deeds. It is the struggle between knowing what is right and doing what is right. In other words, it is the conflict between good and evil. This might seem to be a hopeless situation, but it isn’t. Because Christ is in us, we will win.

In the “Peanuts” comic strip, Lucy once taught Linus by drawing a heart, half of which was black and the other half white. “There is a battle going on within our hearts,” Lucy preached. Linus thought about what she said and exclaimed, “I think I can feel the fight going in inside of me!”

Our sinful nature is due to the original sin. When Adam and Eve sinned, all of mankind was doomed to death. One sin brought down every human being who would ever be born. As the old saying goes, one bad apple spoiled the whole bunch. From the moment Adan and Eve sinned, we were all born of sin, and death would be our destination. One sin is all it took to separate us from God. When Jesus died for us, His one act of sacrifice on the cross was all it took to restore us back to God. Through one man, death entered; through one Man, life was restored. (Pause)

The conflict Paul is talking about is a form of spiritual warfare. As we learn to say no to sin and yes to God, we are given a renewed spirit, vigor and understanding. Paul talks about this struggle by talking about his own personal struggle with good versus evil. In his eyes, he failed to do any good and he could not completely comply with God’s law. God’s Old Testament law demanded perfection.

The law does have its good points. It gave us the Ten Commandments, which are helpful, healthful and good. The law does not save us from sin, but it does show us the character of the giver of the law-God. The problem with the law is that it reveals human weakness when compared to the law’s perfect standard. After the law proves how bad we are, it doesn’t make us any better. The law that exposes our weaknesses doesn’t give us the power to overcome them. It only leads to a dead end.

The Pharisees tried to compensate for this by coming up with a list of 612 do’s and don’ts, but they only reinforced the point that we can’t completely obey the law. No set of rules can break the cycle of guilt and failure we feel because of the law. We need outside help, and only Christ can provide that help. God’s law pulls us heavenward, whereas the law of sin pulls us toward hell. Jesus gives us eternal life through him, and escape from the flesh is also through him. Jesus dealt with sin through his death and resurrection.

In Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30, Jesus explains that we do not need to follow man-made rules. Jesus even replaced the Ten Commandments with the two Great Commandments-love God and love people. God’s grace gives us the freedom to enjoy the rights and privileges of being out from the bondage of sin and man-made laws. Everyone is different, and God loves variety because he loves each of us so much that he sent Jesus to die for us on the cross. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we are restored to God.

Our desire to do what’s right rests in us, our flesh. Sin operates through our flesh, that learned independence that encourages us to rebel against God. Sin and our faith collide in our minds. That’s why it’s important for us to renew our minds and take every evil thought to the obedience of Christ. All our desires matter to God. They impact our lives and the lives of others. We can only experience true freedom when God is a part of all opportunities to shape our lives. If we sin, we give the devil an opportunity to run our lives, and the devil brings only misery.

Battling the devil in this spiritual warfare is evidence of God working in our lives. As children of God, we’ve been forgiven of our sins, so Satan must work even harder to get us to fail. We don’t need to worry because we are filled with the Holy Spirit so that we may have victory over sin through salvation in Jesus.

Many of us as Christians want to be set free from this conflict. That will only happen when we get to heaven. The only way we will win it on earth is to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. We can win much of the battle by realizing that the struggle exists. Sin is still a powerful force, but it no longer controls us unless we let it control us. As we learn to say no to sin and yes to God, we are made free to obey God with renewed vigor and understanding. As we let the Holy Spirit live in us, He will overcome our indwelling sin, the temptation to live in the flesh, and the burden of obeying the law.

Like Paul, we have a constant struggle when it comes to doing the right thing. We know what is right, but when it comes to doing what is right, we often fail, and the harder we try, the more likely we are to fail. The alternative is to give in to sin, but the result is eternal damnation. There is a third alternative-one that was provided by Jesus’ death and resurrection. What is impossible for us to solve on our own has been solved by God’s grace. Jesus has freed us from the damages caused by this inner war. If we genuinely seek to do God’s work in our world, we become better people of faith.

Being open with our struggles puts us on the same level with every other human being alive, which is where we belong. Because of Jesus, our sin will not follow us into eternity. As a sign I’ve often seen in front of a local church reads, “1 cross + 3 nails=4 given.” When we focus on the law, we are constantly reminded that we’ll never be good enough to deserve God’s grace. When we focus on Jesus, we become more like Him.

How to Remove Skin Tags – It is Not Difficult

For many people skin tags appear on a regular basis on their body, and as people age, they may suddenly start developing them, and according to where they are located, they can be removed are left alone. How to remove skin tags is not difficult, especially if you can catch them when they’re very tiny.

There are several different methods you can use in order to remove skin tags that are very tiny. There are plenty of herbal concoctions on the market today similar to those that are used for warts. Just be careful, according to where the skin tag is, these herbal treatments can irritate the surrounding skin.

Also, if you can catch them when they’re very tiny less than a centimeter or a millimeter, you can use a pair toenail clippers or fingernail clippers. But make sure that you get the very base of the skin tag, otherwise, it may grow back. This is an easy way to do it, it will hurt but not much more than it does to pluck your eyebrows. Also, if you suspect that it’s going to be bleeding, you should discuss with your physician before you use this skin tag self removal method.

For those skin tags that are a bit larger, and some of them can become golf ball sized, you’re going to need your physician. There are several different methods your physician may use, and most skin tags are considered benign and noncancerous your health insurance may consider this an elective surgery, or it may be covered.

According to your physician they may use cauterization, cryosurgery, ligation, or excision. Whether they cauterize it with an electrolysis method, freeze it, cut off the blood supply, or actually remove it with a surgical instrument, you may or may not want anesthetic. It’s according to how bad the skin tag may bleed as well as the size. They do have nerves, especially at the base where they connect to your skin. If you’re concerned that all, make an appointment with your physician and discuss skin tag removal techniques so that you can use the one that’s going cause the least amount of pain, and also the smallest chance of infection.

Low Back Pain Treatment – A Practical Guide

Back low pain treatment methods are required in about 8 out of ten individuals, either as single or several bouts. It's led numerous to try and discover an appropriate back low pain treatment which could ease them from the painful ordeal. Many people who end using this issue do not automatically have main wellness problems or severe back issues. The trigger of this condition is not generally recognized and is therefore known as a non-specific painful back. When an person is enduring from a bout of back pain, they'll generally be advised to help keep performing regular actions within cause because of the fact that they could make things a lot worst in the end. This really is simply because if 1 was to rest too a whole lot, it'll prolong their recovery period.

One way of painful mid back treatment is utilizing massage. This type of therapy will involve a qualified practitioner manipulating the muscles and soft tissues of the affected region in a way to alleviate the associated pain in the back region. Such practitioners' re usually approached by individuals who can be going via neck discomfort or unsuitable lower backs. Occidentally the muscles of the lower back may have painful spasms, that could be alleviated via massage. The therapy will help the blood circulate through the muscles, permitting cells and tissues to acquire nourishment. This will alleviate the muscle spasms, since the elevated circulation with the lymphatic program will likely be in a position to purge any waste goods that had been trapped within the tissues.

An additional benefit of beneficial therapeutic massage as a low back therapy is which it offers the person with rest, that may assist to reduce blood strain, decrease panic and anxiety, and decrease depressive disorders. Depending on what your problem is, an expert will pick from a selection of massage methods to greatest relieve your discomfort. Some types of massage strategies will use concentrated tension by adjusting the heavy muscles and tendons via massaging. This could assist find the circulation streaming because region and reduce any serious muscle stress.

It's extremely essential that you simply speak together with your physician ahead of you determine to understand this type of therapy. Not all of massage therapies is going to be suitable for painful lower backs, and could trigger a lot more harm than great for various people. Massage therapy is not a therapy alone, and will probably be found in conjunction with any medicines which have been prescribed for that situation.

Additionally it is essential that you use a licensed and expert practitioner to your discomfort in low back therapy. This could make certain that you just really get the correct kind of therapy with out any risky of additional injuries. Which is very likely if you opt for cheap imitation practitioners, look for credentials of any potential practiceer for your own personal sake. What you may do Do not make any hasty choices because you can end up regretting it for the reminder of your life.

Causes of Gynecomastia – Here Are the Six Major Causes of Man Boobs

You are here for a reason. You probably want to know the causes of gynecomastia. In this article you will find the six major causes of gynecomastia. Let us get started.

First of all there are two types of gynecomastia; real and fake – also known as pseudogynecomastia.

Real gynecomastia is caused by hormonal imbalances. In a nutshell your body produces more estrogen and less testosterone. Other causes of real gynecomastia include the following:

Steroid abuse can distort your hormones levels and lead to man boobs. You need to stop using steroid and start a hormone balancing program. This is one of the most common causes of gynecomstia.

Drugs and medical prescriptions can alter your testosterone levels. If you on medication and notice the growth of man boobs, you should talk to your doctor about the condition with a view to changing the prescription.

Aging. Man breasts occur in 25% of men aged over 50.

Puberty. During puberty the teenager body will in most cases experience an imbalance of hormones. Usually, this only occurs in puberty stage.

Drugs and alcohol can lead to man boobs.

Fake gynecomastia is usually comes about due to excess weight. The excess fat is deposited in the pectoral region causing the pecks to look more like breasts. To get rid of fake gynecomastia you need to get started on fat loss training exercises.

– Diet. Are you eating junk foods? How much red meat do you eat? You will want to change your diet in order to get rid of man boobs. Take plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Try to eat more white meat rather that red meat. Avoid soda products like soda, coke and high sugar level drinks.

– Exercise. Cardio exercises works like a charm to melt the excess fat away. Try this, run for five minutes and then do a one minute sprint a sprint. Do this several times during your training time. You can also do some strength exercises. Pushups and bench press are great for tone up your pectoral muscles. Remember, you need to lose the excess fat and do strength exercises for great results. With just strength exercises you may risk developing your man boobs instead of losing them!

This article has probably made you realize that there is a need for you to understand the causes of gynecomastia in order to get rid of them as fast as you can so that you stop feeling embarrassed.

Did you know you can get rid of gynecomastia in 4 week or less? Imagine 4 weeks from now…a totally new you…with the chest and body you deserve…finally free from embarrassment and shame…

Wii Gaming Guide – Guinness World Records the Video Game

Guinness World Records The Video game for the Wii is seriously underrated and is a real barrel of laughs! This game is packed with 36 mini games that are perfect to play in multiplayer mode. From a health aspect, many of the games get you ‘running’, ‘throwing’, ‘pushing’, ‘pedalling’ and more with the Wiimote and Nunchuck, so there is lots of action to be had that will get your heart pumping. There are also some really difficult accuracy games that require skilled hand eye coordination to break records. My favourite has to be the ‘Most Dominos Toppled’ record game! Read more about this below.

Today I want to share some how-to’s with you so that you can get the most fun packed action out of the games. The onscreen instructions are only visual, and can be a little confusing at times. So here is a guide to my favourite mini games in Guinness World Records The Video game:

Hint: The mini games are grouped by location in groups of 3. The first game is free to play; the second game will need to be unlocked with 1000 points, and the second game (usually the most fun) with 5000 points. To gain points, you will need to get high records in the ‘free’ games. If you gain a ‘Guinness World Record’, you will usually be awarded over 1000 points. Then you will simply need to click on the game to unlock it. The game will prompt you if you need to collect more points. Good Luck in breaking those records!

Mini Games Group 1 FREE – Fastest Time To Shear 5 Sheep. You will use the Wiimote as your shepherds crook to catch the sheep. Point at the screen, hover over a sheep and press A to grab your sheep. Then your Wiimote will control an electric sheer. You will need to press A again and move the sheer over the sheep’s body to shave it. Quick Tip – Try holding the Wiimote at an angle to cover the most ‘wool’ as you shave with the sheer. aim to shave each sheep with just three strokes.

UNLOCK 1000 POINTS – Land Speed Record. Hold the Wiimote horizontally. Tilt the Wiimote gently up and down to move your rocket from side to side as it picks up speed. The aim of the game is to avoid any obstacles that will slow you down. This game appears easy at first, but as soon as the pace quickens you will have more obstacles in your path! Don’t crash!

UNLOCK 5000 POINTS – Fastest Time To Push A Lorry 50 Metres. Flick the Wiimote and Nunchuck down in time with the onscreen arrows to get ‘pushing power’. Aim to get an ‘Excellent’ or ‘Nice’ pop up on screen. Then get your avatar to run to the finish line by shaking the Nunchuck and Wiimote frantically up and down in an alternating motion.

Mini Games Group 2 FREE – Longest Fingernails (Grose)! Use the Wiimote as a pointer to trace the finger nails along the wibbly lines. This will make then grow. Be careful not to go too fast or too slow as the finger nails might break! You will get 5 try outs, one for each finger and one for the thumb.

UNLOCK 1000 POINTS – Paper Aircraft Accuracy. ‘Throw’ your paper aircraft forward by holding the Wiimote like a dart and making a jerking forward movement. Then tilt the Wiimote gently from side to side and down to get it into the three barrels.

Quick Tip – The harder you ‘throw’ the paper airplane with the Wiimote, the faster it goes. This is good if you can be really accurate with your aim. If not, then try to throw it more gently to begin with until you are a pro!

UNLOCK 5000 POINTS – Fastest Time To Catch A Tonne Of Fish. I find that it is easier to play this game if you hold the Nunchuck in your writing hand. ‘Cast’ your rod by flicking the Wiimote in a forward motion. Then ‘hook’ your fish by sharply flicking the Wiimote upwards when you are prompted by the onscreen diagram. Next, Reel in your fish by moving the Nunchuck round and around as if you really are reeling! Now you will see some arrows on screen as you are reeling your fish in. This indicates the direction that you should flick your Wiimote in as you reel your fish in with the Nunchuck. If you get this right, you will be able to reel your fish in faster! Good Luck!

Mini Games Group 3 FREE – Most Melons Crushed In 1 Minute. This is a really simple game, but lots of rip roaring fun! Simply swing the Wiimote downwards when you want your avatar to hit the Melons. Now you can see your avatar hit the melons with his/her head! The more melons you crush, the faster they come, so watch out!

UNLOCK 1000 POINTS – Highest Jump On A Pogo Stick. ‘Jump’ by holding the Wiimote sideways with both hands like handle bars and flick the Wiimote upwards. You will need to jump just at the right time to get extra height. Look out for the arrows on the ground, and try to jump when they turn green. Aim for an ‘Excellent’. Now repeat jumping in a pattern of 3 when prompted by onscreen instructions and see where you come on the height measurer!

UNLOCK 5000 POINTS – Most Arrows Caught In A Minute. In this game the Wiimote and Nunchuck control the hands. Move the controllers left and right to catch the arrows as they fly towards you. This sounds easy, but it really isn’t. If you miss an arrow, you will be penalised for a short while and the offending hand wont move.

Quick Tip – This game is all about timing. To get the timing right, try looking at the bottom left and the bottom right of the screen to ‘catch’ the arrows at just the right time!

Mini Games Group 4 FREE – Highest Video Game Score. Point your Wiimote at the screen and press A on your Wiimote to shoot at oncoming ships.

UNLOCK 1000 POINTS – Fastest 100m on a space hopper. ‘Jump’ up by holding the Wiimote and Nunchuck upright and jerking upwards. Jump at just the right time by waiting until the arrows on the ground turn green. This will give you more speed if you get an ‘Excellent’! Go for that record!

UNLOCK 5000 POINTS – Fastest Rocket. First, shake the Wiimote up and down to boost the rocket engines. Next, press A on the Wiimote when the count down reaches zero to launch the rocket. Now the Wiimote controls the hand. Click on the coloured buttons on the rockets control panel as they light up. Be quick, or your game is up!

Mini Games Group 5 FREE – Highest BMX Jump. When the bike is on the ramp, pedal as fast as you can by moving the Wiimote and Nunchuck round and around as if your hands are the feet on the pedals. Get a high jump with the BMX by moving the Wiimote and Nunchuck upwards when the bike leaves the ramp.

UNLOCK 1000 POINTS – Longest Motorcycle Jump. Hold the Wiimote and Nunchuck sideways in hands like holding onto bike handles. Tilt the Wiimote sharply towards yourself when the bike engine revs reach the blue lightning bolt on the speedometer. Aim for ‘Excellent’. When the bike is in the air, move the Wiimote and Nunchuck upwards in rapid succession to keep the onscreen arrow in the central position. Now just see how far you can go!

UNLOCK 5000 POINTS – Fastest 50 Metre Tightrope Walk. Hold the Nunchuck in your left hand and the Wiimote in your right hand. Make sure that your arms are outstretched so that the wire between the controllers is straight. This game is all about balance, so try to keep your Wiimote and Nunchuck as straight as possible to stop your character from falling off the rope! Press Z on the Nunchuck and B on the Wiimote to move the avatars feet. Good Luck!

Mini Games Group 6 FREE – Longest Balance Of A Vehicle On Your Head. This game is played with just the Wiimote. Hold your Wiimote horizontally and gently tilt it to get your avatar to balance the bus! Try to make small adjustments so that you don’t lose control and go crashing off screen!

UNLOCK 1000 POINTS – Furthest Toss Of A Cow Pat. This game is played with just the Wiimote. Swing the cowpat around the avatars head by making a lasoo movement with the Wiimote. Press B to release the cowpat into the field at just the right time.

UNLOCK 5000 POINTS – Most Dominos Toppled. This is definitely MY FAVOURITE. This game is played with the Wiimote only. Hold the Wiimote horizontally and tilt it from side to side to get along the track and knock down all of the dominos. Press the D-pad or 2 on the Wiimote when you race over them to knock down the extra dominos to the side. Remember to press left or right as indicated on the track.

Seven-Day Cabbage Soup Diet – The Sacred Heart Hospital’s Diet

The Seven-day Cabbage Soup Diet is proven to be one of the best, safest, and quickest ways to lose weight. It is very simple and easy to follow. You will be taking this diet for one week at a time. This is the best regimen for beginners. Dieters like this program because it can be taken anytime, whether morning or evening.

The benefits of the Seven-day Cabbage Soup Diet Plan are the following:

o It is low-caloric. The tendency is that you will not be overeating, thus you lose weight.

o It acts as good filler, thus you will not be feeling any hunger pang or starvation.

o There are very minimal side effects to this regimen.

o Losing weight is very fast.

Here are the ingredients that you will need in order to prepare the meal:

o 6 large onions

o 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes

o 2 green peppers

o 1 cabbage head

o 1-2 cubes of bouillon

o a bunch of celery

o a package of Lipton onion soup mix

On the first day, you may eat all the fruits that you wish except for bananas. You can also take in unsweetened tea, cranberry juice, and water. On the second day, you may eat all kinds of cooked or raw vegetables except dry beans, corn, and peas. On the third day, you may have all the soup you want as well as fruits and vegetables. On the fourth day, you must eat 8 bananas and drink plenty of water. On the fifth day, you may have 10-20 oz. of beef. On the sixth day, you may eat vegetables and meat. On the seventh, you may have vegetables, brown rice, and fruit juices.

The Insurance Agency Elevator Pitch

An insurance agency elevator pitch is a succinct summary used to quickly describe your insurance agency, products and services. It should include your unique agency value proposition, and must be delivered within the time span of an elevator ride, in about 30 to 60 seconds. This can be much harder than many agents might initially think, and should be scripted, vetted, rehearsed, and timed. The elevator pitch is a truly important and fundamental component of your insurance agency marketing and insurance agency prospecting efforts.

A great exercise for agents or agency executives is to ask a variety of people in your agency to tell you their version of the agency elevator pitch. Don’t be surprised if the pitch varies dramatically from person to person. Does the pitch adequately describe your value proposition? Does it highlight the products, services and solutions which best showcase your agency expertise? Did the litany of pitches even sound remotely alike?

Some years ago, I met with the executive team and senior managers of a small company, which at that time employed less than 100 people. I asked each of the dozen people I met to provide me with an elevator pitch about their organization. Some people were taken completely by surprise. Others sat and thought, and struggled to articulate an elevator pitch, or even describe their value proposition. The pitches I heard varied drastically.

Elevator pitches are an important digital asset for every agency. They should be vetted, scripted, practiced, and preached. I call it an asset, as it is a fundamental component in the marketing of any agency. And every member of an insurance agency, from agent to receptionist, to customer service representative to executive team should be able to promptly and professionally deliver their insurance agency elevator pitch.

Your sales and marketing efforts are built upon a well articulated and easily repeatable value proposition, which should be a microcosm of your elevator pitch. If you cannot communicate your value proposition in less than 30 seconds, or stumble when trying to express it, it’s time to write it down, rehearse it and communicate your value proposition with everyone in your agency. Once that is done, turn it into a 30 to 60 second elevator pitch. Practice makes perfect, try repeating both of these in monthly management meetings and sales meetings, and it’s important to note that your elevator pitch might vary based on your target niches (P&C versus Group Benefits for example).

Here are a few best practices when it comes to your insurance elevator pitch:

  • Be succinct – 30 seconds is much better than 60 seconds (you may not have 60 seconds!)
  • Create empathy – For example, “We work exclusively with New York contractors” or “we work with trucking companies with 5 to 50 power units” or we specialize in groups between 50 and 150 participating employees”
  • Verticalize – a vertical pitch is easier to differentiate, allowing you to better articulate your unique pitch. “We insure restaurants addressing their unique risks.”
  • Be different – “save money” and “great service’ is something everyone says. What are your top 3, unique differentiators?
  • Transfer enthusiasm! You have to believe it for them to believe it.
  • Close with a call to action – what’s the next step for your prospect

Let’s review a sample pitch, which would run 30 to 40 seconds depending upon cadence:

We’ve been helping trucking companies with their insurance and risk related needs for over 50 years. Everyone at our agency is a trucking fleet expert, in areas including hazmat, specialty cargo, certificate fulfillment, HOS, group health, and owner operator services. Because of our access to extensive markets and deep industry expertise, we provide creative coverages at the best possible rates, and help protect our clients’ bottom line. We know trucking insurance is one of your most important expenditures, and our creative coverage approach will help meet your unique requirements. Can we set up a 15 minute meeting to discuss your specific needs?

Your elevator pitch might be designed to include industry jargon to convince prospects of your deep expertise, it might highlight your most important products and services, your top differentiators, or your service centric approach. Regardless of what your final elevator pitch includes, practice makes perfect, it should roll off your tongue effortlessly. Remember, 30 to 60 seconds is all you get before your most important prospect walks out of the elevator, and your opportunity may be gone forever.